Kinderhook Seeks Key for Every Door
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Kinderhook Seeks Key for Every Door

Quickly following its buy of Midwest Keyless last month, Kinderhook has added on again to Automotive Keys Group with the buy of International Key Supply.

International Key Supply is a provider of automotive keys and remotes, programming tools, key machines, and related accessories to locksmiths, wholesale distributors, and online shoppers. Company-owned brand names include Keyless2Go and Durashell.

International Key was founded in 2012 by President Sean McAuliffe and is based on Long Island in Farmingdale, New York. Mr. McAuliffe will join the AKG senior management team, and he will continue to lead the business as part of AKG.

“Joining the AKG platform will allow us to broaden our distribution footprint and facilitate our fulfillment processes as we continue to offer unique distribution solutions to our customers,” said Mr. McAuliffe. “We are excited to grow with the AKG platform in partnership with Kinderhook.”

Automotive Keys Group (AKG) was formed by Kinderhook in January 2021 as a platform for consolidation in the automotive aftermarket keys industry. The platform’s first buy was the Buffalo Group, a Chicago-based remanufacturer and distributor of automotive aftermarket keys, remotes and related equipment. The add-on buy of Midwest Keyless, based 60 miles northwest of Chicago in Spring Grove, Illinois, closed last month. AKG is led by CEO Ayal Sharvit.

“International Key has quickly established itself as a leader in supplying automotive remotes, and we will greatly benefit from welcoming Sean McAuliffe and his team to AKG,” said Mr. Sharvit. “We look forward to working with them to enhance the International Key business with our industry-leading procurement, inventory management, and customer service.”

“Growth in the new aftermarket products channel has been a strategic focus for AKG, and International Key is an excellent fit to complement the expanding AKG platform,” said Paul Cifelli, a managing director at Kinderhook. “International Key is a prime example of a unique, founder-owned business which Kinderhook and our operating partners will help to achieve the next phase of growth.”

New York City-based Kinderhook has over $3.3 billion of committed capital and has closed more than 250 investments and follow-on acquisitions since its founding in 1983. Kinderhook makes control investments in companies with transaction values of $25 million to $150 million in which the firm can achieve financial, operational and growth improvements. Sectors of interest include healthcare services; environmental and business services; and automotive and light manufacturing.

Conlin & Co., led by Patrick Conlin, was the financial advisor to AKG on this transaction and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal services.

Ares Management and Regions Bank provided financing for the buy of International Key.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | April 6, 2021

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